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    Sale 7610

    Important Old Master & British Pictures Day Sale Including Property From The Collection Of The Princely House Of Liechtenstein

    9 July 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 107

    Paduan School, circa 1485

    The Virgin Annunciate

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Paduan School, circa 1485
    The Virgin Annunciate
    tempera on linen, shaped top, in the original engaged frame
    102¾ x 59½ in. (261 x 151.1 cm.), including the frame


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    When in Stefano Bardini's possession this organ shutter was still accompanied by the pendant Angel of the Annunciation which the dealer exported to Gebrüder Wolff of Salzburg in 1898, but which was later acquired by Johann II, to match the present picture, which he had purchased from Bardini in 1894. By 1930, however, the pendant had passed to Count Oriola, and is last recorded in the his sale, Mensing, Amsterdam, 13 April 1930, lot 2.

    Long attributed to Francesco del Cossa, this ambitious canvas was considered to be by an anonymous but slightly older Ferrarese artist working circa 1460 by Roberto Longhi in his celebrated publication of 1934. Longhi fairly described the Virgin as 'stupenda'. He saw affinities with the early Giovanni Bellini, and, specifically in the companion Angel, found parallels with the work of Tuscan sculptors, including Antonio di Cristoforo, il Baroncelli, who was active in Ferrara in the 1450s and 1460s. Longhi concluded by citing a parallel with the art of Donatello at Padua, the influence of which is implied by Everett Fahy's attribution to a Paduan artist of about 1485. The character of the canvas implies the strong artistic links between the two neighbouring towns, one the seat of an independent duchy, the other--Padua--the most dynamic commercial city of the Venetian terra firma.

    Stefano Bardini (1836-1922) was the leading Florentine dealer of his generation and a major benefactor of the city, to which he bequeathed his personal collection, his palace and a garden stretching to the city walls. He sold both pictures and sculptures to many outstanding collectors of the time and Johann II, Prince of Liechtenstein, bought a considerable number of works from him, including such masterpieces as Filippino Lippi's Arrival of Esther now in the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa and the same artist's Portrait of a Youth in the National Gallery of Art, Washington.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    with Stefano Bardini, Florence, until 1894, when acquired by
    Johann II, Prince of Liechtenstein, Duke of Troppau and Jägerndorf (1840-1929), and by descent; at Burgruine Klamm by 1931, until February 1941, when moved to Gaming, Styria, until April 1945, when moved to Schloss Vaduz, Liechtenstein, until the present.


    Literature

    A. Kronfeld, Führer durch die Fürstlich Liechtensteinsche Gemäldegalerie in Wien Vienna, 1931, p. 165, no. 845.
    A. Venturi, Storia dell'arte italiana, VII, 3, Milan, 1914, p. 834, illustrated, pl. 615.
    R. Longhi, Officina Ferrarese, 1934, reprinted in Florence, 1956, p. 29, illustrated, pl. 82, as Ferrarese circa 1460.
    C. de Benedictis, in F. Scaglia and C. de Benedictis, Il Museo Bardini a Firenze, Florence, 1984, p. 121.
    E. Fahy, L'Archivio Storico Fotografico di Stefano Bardini: Dipinti, Disegni, Miniature, Stampe, Florence, 2000, p. 27, no. 58, fig. 58, pl. 1 (g), as Paduan School, circa 1485.


    Exhibited

    Ferrara, Palazzo dei Diamanti, Esposizione della pittura Ferrarese del Rinascimento, 1933.